Marie’s Daily Verse: Isaiah 44: 

“This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 27, 2022

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).

Who is the master in your life? You cannot serve two masters. That never works. One or the other will take precedence. One master must tower over all competitors. Of course, the only master worthy of our service is God himself. However, we often find competitors who want to push God off the throne. Jesus specifically mentions money as an object that masters some of us. He simply means that the accumulation of wealth and the use of all of its benefits is more important to some people than their faith in God.

Whether it is money or something else we all must decide who our master will be. There are many potential “masters” seeking to dethrone God. Whatever is of most importance to you is your master. I hope it’s God.

Father, help me to see when other masters are gaining control. I want You to be my one and only Master. Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: n him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Ephesians 1:7-10). 

DAILY DEVOTION, September 26, 2022

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward (Matthew 6:5).

Before teaching us how to pray the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave a lesson on how not to pray. He refers to hypocrites who love to pray in public to be noticed by others. They want others to know how spiritual they are. As one who prays in public this verse is a word of caution for me. I dare not concern myself with what others may think of my choice of words or my mannerisms. My focus must always be on God. Whether it’s our prayers or some other behavior, we never want the focus of attention to be on us, but always on God.

Self-centered prayers are not prayers at all. The only reward such prayers receive is attention from others. They are not prayers directed to God so God does not answer such babbling. It is better to pray putting ourselves on the back burner and focusing our attention on God. Better to receive His reward than admiration from men. Father, when I pray help me to keep my focus on You. Deliver me from praying in such a manner that I am seeking the praise of men. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Marie’s daily verse: 1Chronicles 16:34 ; Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 25, 2022

Upon this rock I will build my church…(Matthew 16:18).

Question: can a person be a true Christian and be uninvolved with the church? Some think this is possible, but our text makes me wonder how it could be true. Jesus said that He was going to build His church. How can one who believes in Jesus be uninvolved with His church? I am not speaking simply of church attendance. There are those who for various reasons cannot attend church. However, they can still give, and they can still pray, and they can still manifest Christian behavior in their daily lives. The word in my opening question was “uninvolved.”  To not be involved in the Church of Jesus Christ is a denial of the faith. Jesus claims that the church is His. Those who believe in him will want to be involved in some way in the life of the church.

Trust in Jesus does many things for us. One thing faith does is it places us in Christ’s church. All believers are attached to His church. Our level of involvement will vary, but total non-involvement is impossible. Jesus is building His church. Those who belong to Jesus will be building with Him.  

Father, I thank You for the church of Jesus Christ. Yes, every church on earth has faults. Despite her shortcomings, the church continues to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. I pray You will strengthen our church and all faithful churches around the world, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.  

Marie’s daily verse: Psalm 143:10: 

Teach me to do your will,for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 24, 2022

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good (Psalm 53:1).

This same idea is revealed in Psalm 14. There were very few atheists before the time of Charles Darwin. Atheism existed but it was definitely a minority. After Darwin came upon the scene atheism exploded. Darwin was attempting to explain the universe in a manner that excluded God. Our text informs us that Darwin was on a fool’s errand. The universe cries out to us that there is a Creator God. The idea that the complexities we see in nature, including the human body, came by accident, is absurd.

Atheism declares, “There is no God.” God declares, “Atheists are fools.” I sometimes wonder why so many want to deny the existence of God. Paul declares in the first chapter of Romans that the existence of God is clearly seen in the things He has made. What have we seen in the world with the increase of atheism? We see exactly what our verse says. More and more corruption. More and more sin and iniquity. A lack of basic goodness. Those who look at the universe and declare, “There is a Creator” are the wise ones.

Father, I believe that in the beginning, You created the heavens and the earth. Your reality is seen in the things You have created. Your reality is seen very clearly in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. May my faith in Him never waver. In His name, Amen.

Marie’s  Daily Verse: For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you ‘ (Isaiah 41:13 NKJV). 

                  DAILY DEVOTION, September 23, 2022

“Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Do you ever get tired of trying to do the right thing? I have been writing these devotionals for over two years. Do they do any good? Do people really read them? I have been ordained for over 60 years and preached hundreds of sermons. Has anyone really been helped? Sometimes I wonder if my 60 years of ministry has any real value. I try to remember this verse when I feel a sense of weariness in trying to do good. A harvest is coming, so don’t give up.

It reminds me that we try to do good primarily to honor God. We hope we are helping others, but our basic motive for doing good is to please God. Regardless of how people respond (or don’t!) God has His eye on us. He knows when we are striving to do good, and He promises to reward our efforts even if we are ignored by those we seek to help. So, if you ever wonder if your good works have any real value, they do. They have value in the eyes of God, and a harvest is promised. So, don’t throw up your hands in despair and declare, “what’s the use?” Keep on doing the right thing, and God will bless you both in this life and in the life to come.

Gracious Father, help me in my efforts to lead a good life. I want to help others, but beyond that, I want to honor You. I pray I will not give in to weariness. In Jesus, name, I pray, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: John 16:33 NKJV: 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation;but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 22, 2022

God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

When Adam and Eve fell into sin, God planned how he would redeem us. He planned to bring us salvation by involving two procedures. Paul expresses these in reverse order from the way we usually experience them. To receive God’s salvation, we begin by believing the truth. The truth revealed in the writings of the apostles is that Jesus is the Son of God who provided for our salvation through his death on the cross. Faith in Jesus brings us into the Kingdom of God.

Paul then mentions sanctification by the spirit. Sanctification is another way of saying “making us into faithful followers of Jesus.” Sanctification by the Holy Spirit leads to a new life. God saves us by faith and then gives us the power to live a new life. Both elements are present in the lives of the redeemed. There is no such thing as salvation that does not result in sanctification by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to have true faith in Jesus and not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. While our obedience to Jesus is never perfect Christians are always striving to follow him.

Father, I thank you for the simplicity of the gospel. I thank you that I have heard the truth and believed in Jesus. I thank you that the Holy Spirit is leading me ever increasingly to a life of obedience. May my daily life bring praise and glory and honor to you and to Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Proverbs 22:2: 

Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 18, 2022

We have much sadness, but we are always rejoicing. We are poor, but we are making many people rich in faith. We have nothing, but really we have everything” (2 Cor. 6:10, ICB).

The Christian life is full of paradoxes. A paradox is a statement that seems to be a contradiction or a statement that defies logic. This is what we are faced with in our verse for today. How can we be sad, but always rejoicing? As Christians, we face difficult times. We do face times of sadness, but below the surface, we are always rejoicing because of what we possess through Jesus. We may be poor by worldly standards, but as we share Christ, we make others rich in faith. The final paradox says we have nothing, but we have everything. Paul is telling us that whatever we lack in worldly goods, when we have Christ, we have everything. We are rich beyond description. All the glories of heaven belong to us. 

The world looks at the millionaires and billionaires and concludes, “Those people have it all.” We may even envy those who have so much. Our verse reminds us that we have no reason to be jealous because we are the rich ones. Jesus once told a parable comparing a rich man and a poor man. When death came, the poor man who possessed faith turned out to be rich. The rich man who lacked faith said goodbye to his earthly riches and found himself in a place he did not want to be. 

Those who have Christ are rich beyond measure. Trust in Him, and whatever you lack in this life will be more than made up in the future kingdom of God. 

Blessed Father, I thank you for Your forgiving love. I thank you that when I trusted in Jesus, you put a song in my heart. Help me to be content with my lot in this life. If I have Jesus, I have everything I need, In His name, I pray, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Isaiah 40:29:

 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 19, 2022

He calms the storm so that its waves are still.Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven (Psalm 107:29-30).

Jesus fulfilled many Scriptures. I did not realize that Mark 4:35-41 had been prophesied in the Old Testament, but there it is in Psalm 107! The Psalmist describes one who calms the storm and guides the sailors to a safe harbor. We are familiar with the story in the Gospels. Jesus speaks to the wind and waves, and they obey Him. The disciples arrive safely to shore.

There is also a kind of parable in that story. Jesus could have stopped the storm from coming up in the first place. He is God the Son in possession of omniscience. Why did He sleep when He knew what was coming? Why did He allow His disciples to go through such fear? Jesus wants us to trust Him no matter what. He wants our trust when we are going through a storm. I think He allows storms to impact us to see if we will continue to trust Him. I have seen people go through hard times and curse God. I have also seen people go through storms and their faith never failed. Which one am I?

Lord, when the storms of life strike me personally, help me to continue to trust in You. I know You will not abandon me when trouble comes my way. I am so grateful for Your faithfulness. In Your name, I pray. Amen

Marie’s daily verse: 

Lamentations 3:40-42: 

Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord; let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. We have transgressed and rebelled,You have not pardoned.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 21, 2022

God said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with Him I am well pleased; listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5).

God, the Father, rarely speaks in the New Testament. Peter, James, and John are on the Mt. of Transfiguration with Jesus. They see the outshining of His divine nature. To make sure they understand what is happening, the Father speaks audibly from heaven. He states that Jesus is His beloved Son and the Father is well pleased with the work of His Son. If God the Father is pleased with Jesus, I think we should be pleased with Him too. Jesus has fulfilled the Father’s purpose and will continue to do so. His final act of obedience during His earthly life takes place at the cross. We should be well pleased with what Jesus accomplished for us when He died for our sins.

Then the Father tells us to listen to His Son. Jesus is not only our Savior. He is also our Lord who tells us how to live so we can please God. When we listen to Jesus and respond to His wisdom, God is well pleased with us. When God tells us to listen to His Son, and we fail to do so, how can we expect God’s blessings? God is not pleased when we fail to listen to His Son. Living life with faith in Jesus as Savior and obedience to Him as Lord is the path that leads to a joyful and meaningful life.

Gracious Father, I agree with You that Jesus is Your beloved Son. I want His sacrifice and His teachings to be my daily bread. I do believe Jesus is my Savior. I love His wonderful teachings, but I must confess I do not always follow them as I should. I pray that my obedience to Him will grow to maturity with the help of the Holy Spirit. In His blessed name, I pray, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: James 4:10:

 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 20, 2022

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17).

Jesus gives us two roles played by the Holy Spirit in our text. I want to look at just the first role in today’s devotional. He is our Helper. The original Greek word for this title was a legal term.  It meant “one who is called alongside to help.” It conveys the idea of an encourager in the sense of a legal consultant. Just as Jesus encouraged and assisted his disciples, the Holy Spirit would be there for them after Jesus ascended into heaven. We can depend on the Holy Spirit to guide, instruct, and encourage us daily in the ways of Jesus. Living the Christian life can be challenging, and we need help. Jesus has provided the support we need with the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we live by faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is with us to help us in whatever way we need. Notice I said, “AS WE LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS.” Sometimes we believers drop faith in our daily decisions, and we lose the help of the Holy Spirit. We do not lose the presence of the Holy Spirit, but His helping role is absent when we live apart from faith.

Do you believe the Holy Spirit is within you and is helping you? Are you living daily with faith in Jesus, trusting Him with daily decisions, especially when life is not treating you well? It is a wonderful blessing to have the Holy Spirit with us as our Helper. Don’t reject His help by eliminating faith from your daily walk.

Holy Father, I thank You for giving to every believer in Your Son the gift of the Holy Spirit. I thank You for how He has helped me through difficult days. May I live each day with faith in Your Son, receiving the Holy Spirit’s help daily. In the beautiful name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Philippines 4:66 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 17, 2022

No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:27-29).

There is only one person who knows God the Father and that is His Son, Jesus. Jesus reveals the Father to whomever He chooses. Notice the progression here. Only the Son knows the Father. The only way any of us will ever come to know the Father is through the Son. Yes, many claim to know God apart from the Son but they are deceived. The Son reveals the Father to us. How and when does He do that? The invitation is given to all, “come to me.” True rest for our souls comes only when we trust in Jesus.

Do you know God the Father? There is but one way such knowledge is attained. We must first come to Jesus by faith. When we do so our spiritual weariness is removed. The gentle and humble Jesus will reveal the Father to us. Those who come to Him will never be rejected (John 6:37). Open your heart to Jesus and the presence of God will flood into your soul.

Father, I thank You that when I trusted in Your Son, You received me as Your child. I pray that with Your aid I will abide in faith until the end of my life. I praise Your name and the name of Jesus, Amen.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever (Psalm 23:1-6).

DAILY DEVOTION, September 14, 2022

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).

Yesterday’s devotion was about acting as agents of reconciliation. We know that we fall short in fulfilling that command.  What do we do when we have disobeyed God? John is clear. We do fall into sin. If we claim to be sin-free, we are deceived. Redeemed people strive for obedience, but disobedience rears its ugly head. John tells us not to deceive ourselves and pretend we do not sin or pass off our sins as of no importance.

The solution to the problem of ongoing sin is in the word “confess.” The Greek word (homologeo) means literally to speak the same thing. When we confess our sins, we agree with God and admit we have sinned. We confess that we have disobeyed the God who loves us and has redeemed us. We not only admit we have done wrong; we also declare our intention to turn away from that particular sin.

If we try to deny our sin or act as if our acts of disobedience are unimportant, we submit ourselves to the judgment and discipline of God. The better course is to confess, receiving God’s forgiveness and His cleansing power. He can justly forgive us because Jesus bore our sins on the cross.

Christians are committed to obedience, and part of obedience is to confess our disobedience. Those who do so will find that God faithfully and justly forgives.

Gracious God, I desire to live a faithful life. I know I fall short of that lofty ideal. When I stray from Your will, grant me the grace to admit it, to confess to You my sin. Thank You for Your gracious promise to forgive in response to my honest confession. I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus, my redeemer, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: 2 Peter 1:2: 

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

DAILY DEVOTION, September 9, 2022

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:8-9).

While we want to be positive, there are strong passages of warning found in Scripture. Paul was very protective of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the above verses, he cautions against any attempt to change the gospel as it was taught by the apostles.  He actually pronounces a curse upon anyone who would seek to change the content of the gospel. He even curses himself if he should one day seek to tinker with the Gospel, and even if an angel from heaven should alter the Gospel let him be under God’s curse. Strong language!

The Gospel centers on the life death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior. We received the benefits of the Gospel when we place our trust in Jesus. We must study carefully the writings of the apostles to make certain that we understand and believe the true Gospel. There are those today as there were in Paul’s day who proclaim a different gospel. We all need to be certain that the Gospel we believe is the Gospel taught by the apostles, recorded for us in the Bible. To be under the curse of God is to be lost forever. The Gospel can never be taken lightly.

Father, help me to receive and believe the Gospel taught by the apostles. It is a Gospel that can never be changed or improved. I do not want to fall under the curse of God by changing the Gospel by some sort of reinterpretation. Help me, I pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

DAILY DEVOTION, September 8, 2022

For as many who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14).

The Greek word for “led” is the word used when a rope was placed around the neck of an animal. The owner would then tug on the rope to get the animal to follow him.  One of the blessings we receive when we trust in Jesus is the gift of the Holy Spirit. We need to pay attention to the tugging and pulling on our heartstrings by the Holy Spirit. Of course, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and he does not force us to obey the will of God. He gives us little prompts and tugs on our hearts. I suspect that sometimes his tugs are so gentle that we may miss them. We need to be aware that the Holy Spirit wishes to lead us. When we forget that critical truth we may cease looking for those tugs that the Holy Spirit initiates to lead us in the right direction. He will gently lead us where he wants us to go if we are open to His presence. We must always remember that God wishes nothing for us except that which is good. Make sure your heart is insensitive to those leading of the Holy Spirit. When we are led by the Holy Spirit then we are truly the sons of God.

Father, thank you so much for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Made my heart be ever open to his leading. Only as I am led by the spirit can I truly fulfill the will of God. I pray in the name of my Savior, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love (2 John 1:3).

DAILY DEVOTION, September 6, 2022

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15).

We often speak of the need to be positive and I agree that we must always express the positive side of the Gospel. However, some are so entrenched in their opposition to Jesus that they need a harsh word of warning to get their attention. This is true in the above text. Jesus warns the scribes and Pharisees they are on the road to hell if they do not change their ways. He calls them “hypocrites” who work hard to convert people to their way of thinking with the result that their converts are also hell-bound. We know Jesus loves sinners and I think His harsh words of warning were spoken in love. These hypocrites need to grasp the danger they face.

If we encounter people who are 100% opposed to Jesus, kindness may not work. Sometimes a harsh word of warning is called for. However, such words should never be spoken in anger.  We are not mad at those who reject Jesus. We love them and want them to be redeemed. But some are so blinded by Satan that the first step is to try to awaken them to their danger.

Father, I confess that I once resisted the Gospel. I thank You that my eyes were opened. Help me to know when to be kind and when a strong warning is appropriate as I seek to draw others into Your Kingdom. In the holy name of Jesus, I pray, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Even youths grow tired and weary,     and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,    they will walk and not be faint. (ISAIAH 40:30-31).

DAILY DEVOTION, September 5, 2022

You are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God (Galatians 4:7).

One of the things I learned in my counseling career is to help people pay attention to their internal talk. Discouraged and depressed people often have thoughts like this running through their heads: “I am no good. I am a failure. I am worthless. I have no friends. I can’t cope with life, etc.” Such negative thoughts turn us into negative persons. If you are a Christian allowing such thoughts to run freely through your mind, stop it!

Who are we when we believe in Jesus? We are sons of God. We are in the family of God. We are loved and forgiven. We are heirs of all the promises and blessings of God. Those are the thoughts we should hold in our minds. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that our thoughts control our lives. We tend to become what we think. When you are thinking about what a horrible person you are, sit down and think about who you are in Christ. “I am loved. I am redeemed. I am forgiven, etc.” When such thoughts run freely in your mind you will become a new person. The old will pass away, the new will come.

Father, help me to rid my mind of those thoughts which drag me down. Help me to fill my mind with all the blessings I have because I am trusting in Jesus. In His name, I pray. Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Psalm 119: 105(NKJV)Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 

DAILY DEVOTION, September 4, 2022

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

When does God begin to love us? Does He withhold His love from us until we get our spiritual act together? Does He say to us, trust me, and then I will love you? Our verse tells us that God extended His love toward us even when we were sinners who did not love Him. If God loves us while we are estranged from Him, how much more will He love us once we become His children through faith in His Son. Christ went to the cross and bore our sins to demonstrate the love of God for us. If God loved us when we were his enemies, we certainly should relax and rest in His love now that we are His friends. If you try to earn God’s love by your behavior you belittle the death of Jesus on the cross. You cannot earn God’s favor. He loves you even when your behavior is despicable.

There is a practical side to this verse. We are also called upon to imitate God and love our enemies. We are not to wait until people live up to our expectations before we love them. We follow the example of God and we wish the best even for our enemies. God’s love for us will carry us into eternity. Surely we can afford to be gracious toward our enemies. If you are thinking of someone you do not like,  you might begin to love them by asking God to bless them.

Father, I am so grateful that even when I rejected You Your love for me was present. Jesus died for me when I was in rebellion against You. Help me to show that same love toward others. In His name, I pray. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. 

19When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (PSALM 94:18-19).

DAILY DEVOTION, September 3, 2022

Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake we’ll find it (Matthew 16:25).

The idea in the above verse has to do with what is central in our life. When we focus on ourselves and live a self-centered life we end up losing our life. When our life is Christ-centered we experience in full the true meaning of life. We need to remember that life on this earth is very short. When you reach my age that becomes crystal clear. On the other hand, eternity is forever. Therefore it makes sense for us to center our life on Christ.

Jesus once told a parable about a very rich man who was prepared to retire and enjoy all his possessions. He did not realize that his life would end that very night. He worked hard and accumulated much wealth but death caught up with him. (Luke 12:16-21). Jesus admonishes us in this parable to be rich toward God. Don’t worry if you do not have titles, wealth,  or earthly significance in this life. Live a Christ-centered life and enjoy an eternity of blessings.

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. (author unknown).

Father, help me to realize my earthly life is but a breath while the kingdom of God is forever. I want to live a Christ-centered life. Amen.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). 

DAILY DEVOTION, September 2, 2022

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”(Hebrews 13:5).

The writer understands that many people go astray because of their love for money. Yes, we need money to function in this life, but the author is concerned that we don’t become so much in love with money that God is pushed aside.  He urges us to be content with what we have, whether much or little. Paul puts it like this: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).

Paul is aware of people who have walked away from Jesus because of their love of money. It happened in the first century and it can happen in the 21st century. The reason we are to be content with what we have is because God is with us. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Because we have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ we have all that we need. Because God is always with us and will never forsake us we can trust Him to meet our needs. He has promised to supply everything we need as we seek first the Kingdom of God. A God-centered life is fulfilling. When we center too much on money, we will find ourselves experiencing much grief.

Father, help me to be content with what I have. Help me to see that You are with me always. You have promised to meet all my needs. I want to place You in the foreground and money in the background. I want to look to You to provide all I need. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: 

f any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.( But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-7). 

DAILY DEVOTION, September 1, 2022

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

Jesus is speaking to his disciples and He presents them with a new commandment. You may wonder what is new about a commandment to love one another. The Old Testament certainly taught that concept. What is new about His command is that we are to love one another in the same way that He has loved us. That is a very high standard. His love for us sent him to the cross where He suffered and died for our forgiveness. His love for us was unquestionably sacrificial. And He commands us to love one another in that same spirit. In other words, we are commanded to make sacrifices to promote the well-being of one another. Sacrificial love even among Christians is probably rare. However, if we are disciples of Jesus we need to pursue that kind of love.

The word “must” in His statement indicates that he is not making a suggestion but is issuing a command. Yes, we fall short of this very high standard but as disciples of Jesus, we are obligated to express sacrificial love whether it is easy or not.

Father, I am so grateful that the love of Jesus was sacrificial. I am humbled when I think that His love for me sent Him to the cross. I know it is a very high standard for me to imitate. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to sacrificially love my brothers and sisters in the faith. In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse:  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,(who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:6). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 31, 2022

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45).

Jesus redefines greatness. He talks about how in the world people with power like to flaunt their authority. Those in a position of influence like to make sure that we all know how many college degrees they have and how wise they are. People in high positions like to be able to tell others what to do so that all may see their greatness.

Christian greatness is of a different kind. True greatness in the eyes of God is seen in the lives of those who serve others. As your life is built around serving others God considers you to be great. Jesus has set the example for us. As the Son of God, He could have demanded our obedience and freely punished the disobedient. Instead, his greatness is seen in His willingness to go to the cross and bear our sins. Do you want to be regarded as great in the eyes of the world or great in the eyes of the world, or great in the eyes of God? The truth is that most of us ordinary people will never achieve greatness in the eyes of the world. However, every one of us can achieve greatness in the eyes of God.

Father, how grateful I am that Jesus was willing to be a servant. How grateful I am that he gave his life for me. May I be willing to serve the needs of others and thus follow his example. In his blessed name, I pray, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. | New Living Translation (2 John 1:6 NLT).

Daily Devotion, August 30, 2022

For to this, you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps. (First Peter 2: 21).

This is a hard verse. We know we serve a Savior who suffered for us. Peter says He has set an example for us to follow. Personally, I do not like to suffer! I am thankful that being a Christian in today’s world so far has not led to suffering. I believe Peter is saying that if it should come to that, we must be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ. I am sure you will join me in hoping that it never comes to that! I believe Peter is asking us to reflect upon our faith to see how serious we are about our allegiance to Jesus. We know there are people around the world who suffer intensely because of their faith in our Lord. If I should have to suffer for Him one day, would I be willing? I believe that is something we all need to seriously think about. If we truly believe he is our only hope for eternal life, we should be willing to suffer and even die for Him.

Heavenly Father, I must confess that I am very thankful being a Christian has not led to suffering in my life. I ask you to stay close by my side so that I may be willing to face whatever may come. I pray in the name of Jesus who suffered for me. Amen

Marie’s daily verse: By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 29, 2022

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:20 NIV).

Sometimes people assume this verse is addressed to unbelievers. However, in context, it is clear that Jesus is addressing the church. He is addressing a church where some have moved Him to the outside. Yes, they still give lip service to Jesus but real faith in Him has vanished. Jesus is outside of their lives seeking entrance once again. He does not reject those in the church who have excluded Him. He is very willing to re-enter the lives of those people who have turned their backs on Him.

It seems that there are some in the church who want little to do with Him. He utters a figure of speech of one standing at the door and knocking seeking to gain entrance. Those who hear his voice and invite him back into their lives will once again experience fellowship with Him. If you are not experiencing a close fellowship with Jesus it may be time for you to open the door of your heart and invite Him to enter. We don’t want our covert rejection of him to become a way of life. Jesus not only wants to save us, but He also wants to be in fellowship with us. If that is not happening in your life, who moved?

Lord Jesus, may the door of my heart ever be open to You. Yes, I confess there are times when I ignore You. Help me to see clearly how much better my life goes when I include you. Amen

Marie’s daily verse: Psalm 27:1: 

The LORD is my light and my salvation;Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

DAILY DEVOTION, August 28, 2022

The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

We know that our salvation depends on trusting in Jesus as our Savior. Paul wants us to move way beyond that initial faith in Jesus. He lives by faith. His daily physical life is guided by his faith in Jesus. It is one thing to trust in Jesus as Savior. That is where the Christian life begins. It is another thing to trust in Jesus with your day-by-day decisions. That should be our goal. Is it difficult to trust in Jesus daily? Is it easy to trust him with our finances, our health, our relationships, etc? It is easy to trust in Jesus to save us but can be very challenging to trust him with our daily decisions. Sometimes we abandon our faith when we leave the church. We tend to rely on human wisdom when it comes to day-by-day decisions.

I believe Paul would tell us that as we live daily by faith our lives will go much better. How do we practice daily faith? I believe it means that with all our major and even minor decisions we pray and look to Jesus to guide us. Despite his sufferings, Paul experience tremendous blessings as he lived day by day trusting in Jesus. I believe that will also be our experience. Yes, by all means, trust Jesus to save you, but trust Him also to guide you each day. Live by faith.

Gracious Father, I thank You that Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me. I thank You for the gift of salvation. Help me now to live my life by faith, trusting Jesus to guide me day after day. I want to honor Him not only as my Savior but also as my daily Master. In His name. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: I am the LORD; 

there is no other God. I have equipped you for battle,though you don’t even know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God.
I am the LORD, and there is no other. I create the light and make the darkness.I send good times and bad times.
I, the LORD, am the one who does these things (Isaiah 45:5-7).

DAILY DEVOTION, August 27, 2022

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20).

What a glorious promise! Do you realize that when we gather together in the name of Jesus on Sunday morning that He is present in our midst? We do not see Him but He is present with us. He is with us to receive our praise. He is our beloved Savior who has done everything necessary to secure our salvation, even enduring the cross. If we realize He is present we will certainly want to focus on Him. We will not want to engage in idle chatter. We will not want our minds to be elsewhere. We will want all our words and thoughts to honor His presence. 

While we may never reach this ideal I believe that should be our goal. A worship service is not a typical activity. It is not like going to a ball game or a party. We come together to honor God – – – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If we keep in mind that Jesus is present with us, observing us, that might help us keep our focus. Lord, we thank You for Your presence with us when we gather together in Your name. Forgive us when our minds wander. We want to honor You when we come together. In Your name, we pray, Amen

Marie’s daily verse:  Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

(Psalm 85:7).

DAILY DEVOTION, August 26, 2022

And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith inChrist—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  (Philippians 3:9).

Paul sets before us two ways we can be righteous. If we keep the Law of God perfectly, we have achieved righteousness. One problem is that we do not keep the law perfectly. A second problem is that only those who are perfectly righteous will enter the Kingdom of God.

Paul reveals a second kind of righteousness. It comes to us by faith. When we believe that Jesus bore our sins on the cross we are forgiven. By faith, we are placed into Jesus (a mystery but a reality). We are “in Him.” The very righteousness of Christ is credited to us. It is not a righteousness we have earned. It is an alien righteousness granted to us by faith. God’s “dilemma” was that sin had to be punished to uphold His law. But He also loves us and wants us to be redeemed. Jesus is the solution. He bore our punishment. All who trust in Jesus are regarded by God as righteous.  That is the good news of the Gospel.Father, sometimes I wonder why the Son of God would endure the penalty I deserve. By faith, I receive Him as my Savior and rejoice that His righteousness is credited to me. How You must love me! Thank You, in Jesus’ Name, Amen

Marie’s daily verse: Ephesians 6:11:Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

DAILY DEVOTION, August 25 2022

And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith inChrist—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  (Philippians 3:9).

Paul sets before us two ways we can be righteous. If we keep the Law of God perfectly, we have achieved righteousness. One problem is that we do not keep the law perfectly. A second problem is that only those who are perfectly righteous will enter the Kingdom of God.

Paul reveals a second kind of righteousness. It comes to us by faith. When we believe that Jesus bore our sins on the cross we are forgiven. By faith, we are placed into Jesus (a mystery but a reality). We are “in Him.” The very righteousness of Christ is credited to us. It is not a righteousness we have earned. It is an alien righteousness granted to us by faith. God’s “dilemma” was that sin had to be punished to uphold His law. But He also loves us and wants us to be redeemed. Jesus is the solution. He bore our punishment. All who trust in Jesus are regarded by God as righteous.  That is the good news of the Gospel.Father, sometimes I wonder why the Son of God would endure the penalty I deserve. By faith, I receive Him as my Savior and rejoice that His righteousness is credited to me. How You must love me! Thank You, in Jesus’ Name, Amen

Marie’s daily verse: Colossians 4:2Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

DAILY DEVOTION, August 24, 2022

And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  (Philippians 3:9).

Paul sets before us two ways we can be righteous. If we keep the Law of God perfectly, we have achieved righteousness. One problem is that we do not keep the law perfectly. A second problem is that only those who are perfectly righteous will enter the Kingdom of God.

Paul reveals a second kind of righteousness. It comes to us by faith. When we believe that Jesus bore our sins on the cross we are forgiven. By faith, we are placed into Jesus (a mystery but a reality). We are “in Him.” The very righteousness of Christ is credited to us. It is not a righteousness we have earned. It is an alien righteousness granted to us by faith. God’s “dilemma” was that sin had to be punished to uphold His law. But He also loves us and wants us to be redeemed. Jesus is the solution. He bore our punishment. All who trust in Jesus are regarded by God as righteous.  That is the good news of the Gospel.

Father, sometimes I wonder why the Son of God would endure the penalty I deserve. By faith, I receive Him as my Savior and rejoice that His righteousness is credited to me. How You must love me! Thank You, in Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9, NLT).

DAILY DEVOTION, 8/22/2022But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was ]bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripeswe are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5-6).Isaiah wrote these words hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. God revealed to Isaiah His plan to redeem sinners. Some have referred to Isaiah as the 5th Gospel. It is hard to read these words and not see the hand of God. God revealed how He planned to save a lost world. Jesus came for us. We are the transgressors; We are the ones guilty of iniquity. Jesus took our punishment. He bore our judgment.The healing referred to in the text is most certainly the healing of our sins. We have gone astray, and our iniquities were laid upon Him, upon Jesus. How amazing is the love of God that He would go to this extreme to redeem us? Why was Jesus born of a virgin in Bethlehem? Why did He suffer the injustice of the cross? “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.”I look at my life, and I see so much sin and failure. I look at the world, and I see wholesale rebellion against God. How can we ever find salvation? Thankfully, it doesn’t depend on us. God has acted to redeem us. Isaiah predicted the cross 600 years before the coming of Jesus. This fact assures me that the Bible is an inspired book. Who could have predicted such an event as the crucifixion of Jesus 600 years in advance? Only God.Lord Jesus, only-begotten Son of the Father, how can I ever thank you for what You have done for me? When I consider the suffering You endured, realizing that You were acting on my behalf, words fail me. It was my sins that nailed You to the cross, and You did it for me, and for the world. How great is Your love for us. I thank You, we thank You, for saving us. In Your name we offer up our gratitude, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

DAILY DEVOTION, August 22, 2022

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19).

The anchor is essential to secure the vessel in time of a storm. I don’t know much about boats but I assume the anchor is useful in rough waters when you don’t want the boat to drift. There are days when life is not smooth sailing. We are living in such a time today. With the war in Ukraine and our politicians fighting one another, with inflation climbing, etc. we wonder where the world is headed. While our trials hopefully will not match those of Job, we do experience hard times in life. Our text describes hope as the anchor that holds us steady amid the trials of life. Our hope is in Jesus and He becomes the anchor that will keep us from drifting when it seems the storms of life will overtake us. Faith in Jesus will finally take you to eternal joy. Turn to Jesus when the seas are rough and He will be with you. We have hope no matter what is going on in our world because of Jesus.

In an old hymn I recall from my youth we sang, “We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll. Fastened to the rock that cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.”  Amen!

Father, I believe Jesus is my anchor. When life is unsettled He will see to it that the trials of life do not destroy me. Thank You, in His name, I pray, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me (2 Samuel 22:17-180. 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 21, 2022

The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium (Acts 13:49-51).

We are commanded to proclaim the Gospel worldwide, to all nations and peoples. The above verse reminds us that we are to do so with efficiency. Paul and Barnabas were busily telling the story of Jesus. They encounter stiff opposition, even persecution. What do you do when you are sharing the love of Christ and certain people dig in their heels and refuse to listen? Paul and Barnabas moved on to another city.

We all have limited time and energy. We are not to waste our time trying to convince people to trust in Jesus when they have made it clear that they have no interest. We may continue to pray for them but there is no point in wasting your time trying to change their mind. My best friend in high school’s dad worked for Chevrolet. There was no point in trying to convince him of the greater value of a Ford or Plymouth. His mind was made up. Yes, share the Good News with everyone, but when you meet with determined opposition, move on.

Father, I know some people adamantly oppose the Gospel. I thank you that I am not in that category. Help me to use my limited time and energy where it will do the most good. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse:  I have heard all about you, LORD.I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy (Habakkuk 3:2). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 10, 2022

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

Paul draws a conclusion after arguing for several chapters that Jesus is our Savior. He sums up our relationship with God with a “Therefore.” Notice both what he says and what he does not say. He says we are justified by faith. He does not add anything to the word “faith.” It is not faith plus good works that save us. It is faith alone. Yes, our good works reveal our faith but they do not add anything to our salvation. God declares us to be just when we trust in Jesus.

If God said that we have to do so many good works before we are saved you would wonder, “Have I done enough?” The answer is “no, you haven’t done enough. You could do more.” That is true for all of us. We could do more. The heart of the Gospel is the good news that God forgives our sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. Faith alone brings us into a relationship with God. Faith in Jesus Christ also brings us a sense of being at peace with God. If I do not feel at peace with God it is time to examine the sincerity of my faith.

Father, it is such a joy to be forgiven. It is  “joy unspeakable and full of glory” to be at peace with You. Jesus, I thank You for being my Savior. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well being (1 Corinthians 10:24). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 9, 2022

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

How close to God are those who lack faith in Jesus? Paul describes unbelievers as far away. Without faith we are so far from God there is no hope we shall ever find Him. God has taken the initiative to draw us close to Him. We are brought near by the blood of Jesus.

What keeps us far from God? The plain answer is sin. Every sin we have ever committed moves us farther away from God. We are completely lost and without hope. Fortunately, God loves us even when we are disobedient sinners. He sent His Son into the world to draw us to His side. Jesus went to the cross for one reason, to shed His blood so that our sins, no matter how many, may be forgiven. Those who trust in Jesus receive complete amnesty from God. Our sins are washed away forever.

The conclusion of the matter is simple. Trust in Jesus. Believe your sins are forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.

Father, I am amazed by the Gospel story, that Jesus, the second person in the divine Trinity, would take on human flesh and then shed His blood for us. I believe in Him and what He has done for me. Thank You for loving me and drawing me close to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 8, 2022

The Lord appeared to me (Israel) from ages past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you (Jeremiah 31:3 AMP).

While this promise was originally made to Israel it certainly applies to us. God has spoken to us in the distant past affirming His love for us. God’s love is never an “on again, off again” situation. His love is everlasting. It is always directed toward you. In order to have a solid, clear faith we need to understand God’s love. If we think of God as a tyrant who is waiting for us to slip up so He can send us to hell, we will never be drawn to Him.

God has revealed His everlasting love for us in the person of Jesus. The ultimate revelation of God’s love is seen at the cross where Jesus bore our sins. He is reaching out to the world with His everlasting love. Once we understand that basic truth, we are drawn to Him. He wants us to trust Him. He wants to bless us and extend His faithfulness to us. Our human love can run hot or cold. We love our families but sometimes we treat them in ways incompatible with love. God will never act in that way. You can always depend on His everlasting love.

Father, Your love overwhelms me. I realize my unworthiness and yet You love me. I can count on the fact that You will never stop loving me. It is Your love which has drawn me to trust in You and in Your Son, in whose name I pray. Amen.


I appreciated Tom filling in for me on short notice Sunday. I thought his sermon was excellent. I hope to be back in the pulpit Sunday. 

Board members, remember we will meet on Tuesday at 2 PM. 

On Wednesday we will enjoy another summer movie at 2 PM. We will be viewing the excellent Christian film “War Room.” Snacks provided. 

This Sunday I will preach the sermon I planned to preach last Sunday! It will be closely related to Tom’s Sunday Sermon. We will look at Romans 13:1-7 and focus on the Christians relationship to political powers. Title, “The Christian and the State.” 

After the worship service next Sunday we will enjoy a fried chicken dinner hosted by David Cox and Jan Ropcke. Please bring a salad, vegetable or dessert to share. 

Thank you for your prayers for my badly sprained ankle. Please remember the far more important prayer needs of our church. 

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Bowman

Marie’s daily verse: Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; 

they will not be defeated but will endure forever (Psalm 125:1). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 6, 2022

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1).

We often struggle with feelings of worthlessness. We are trying to live a Christian life but we seem to fall far short. People need to see Jesus to understand how to live. Jesus is no longer here. That was also true in Paul’s day. Jesus was gone. How could others know Him and follow Him? Paul makes an extraordinary statement. He asks the Corinthians to follow his example. We may not have enough Christian maturity to make such a statement but that should be our goal. We want to follow Jesus closely so that others will want to follow Him after observing how we live.

Paul was a simple human being as are we. He had no more resources to follow Jesus than we have. He could say with a clear conscience, follow my example. He was so sure he was following Christ’s example that he asked others to watch his behavior. As they listened to Paul and followed him they would be led to Jesus. May that also be true of us.

Father, I am reluctant to ask others to follow my example. My following of Jesus needs some work. May it be my goal to so reflect the life and love of Jesus so that I may be used to draw others to Him. In His name. Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

DAILY DEVOTION, August 5, 2022

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7).

Surely no intelligent person believes there is a Devil! I guess I am stupid because I definitely believe in the Devil. There is a granite rock in Ipswich, Massachusetts that contains a footprint. It is said to be the Devil’s footprint. In 1740 evangelist George Whitefield preached a powerful sermon. It was so powerful it is said that the Devil jumped from the church steeple and landed on the rock leaving his footprint. While it is only a legend it does speak to our text. When we are living in submission to God and resisting the influences of Satan that are all around us, Satan flees. He knows he cannot do any damage to those who have a strong faith so he runs away.

The Devil looks for persons whose faith is weak and he exerts his influence upon them. The question I must continually ask myself is “Am I living in submission to God?” If I am living by faith daily, seeking God’s will, the devil will leave me alone. God will give us all the strength we need to live a successful Christian life if we submit to Him. When you find yourself giving in continually to temptation guess who is running the show?

Father, help me to understand that the only life that brings joy is a life lived in submission to You. When I allow my faith to lapse the Devil goes to work on me. Father, help me to continually look to You for Your guidance over my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

DAILY DEVOTION, August 4, 2022

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit. The apostles who wrote the Scriptures wrote 30+ years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. How did they remember His precise words? Enter the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brought to their minds the exact words Jesus spoke. We can be confident that when we read the New Testament, we are reading the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee.

Does the verse relate to us? I think it does. We need help in applying God’s Word to our personal lives. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. The combination of the Bible and the Spirit work in harmony to guide our lives. We need both. If we try to use the Holy Spirit without the Bible, we may become fanatics. If we try to follow the Bible without the aid of the Holy Spirit, we may become rigidly dogmatic. We need both. We need to study the Bible carefully and prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to guide our understanding.

Holy Father, I thank You for this dual gift You have given us to guide us to live according to Your will. I thank You that both the Bible and the Holy Spirit lead me to place my trust in Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse;  O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2 For his merciful kindness is grea Psalm toward us: and the atruth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord. Psal, 117:1-2

DAILY DEVOTION, August 3, 2022 For he dwells with you and shall be in you (John 14:17). Jesus gives us a glorious promise concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit. Up to that moment, the Holy Spirit had only taken up permanent residence inside one Person—Jesus. Even the prophets, priests, and kings in the Old Testament never knew this wonderful privilege. Under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit might temporarily come upon people to especially empower them for service, but this anointing was temporary. So when Jesus told His disciples in John 14:17 that the Holy Spirit “shall be in you,” it was a wonderful statement! This was Jesus declaring that for the first time, the Spirit of God was going to literally come inside believers and remain there. This is a central truth of the New Testament: If you have surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, then you have been born again and the Holy Spirit has come to live inside you. This is why the apostle Paul wrote, “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). God never intended for the Holy Spirit to be your Guest. The Holy Spirit has come to stay as a perpetual Resident inside your heart, and He will be with you for the rest of your life. This is yet another reason why you should develop your partnership with Him. He has moved in, taken up residence, and is committed to staying with you until that glorious day when you are ultimately relocated to Heaven itself! Father, I thank You that the Holy Spirit is not a temporary Guest, but a permanent Resident inside my heart. Help me to remember this and to live my life in a way that honors His indwelling presence. Help me to cultivate my fellowship with Him until I come to know Him deeply in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

For this is the message you heard from the beginning.  We should love one another (1 John 3:11).

DAILY DEVOTION, August 2, 2022

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10).

This is another of the great verses giving us clear directions on how to receive salvation. It begins with the words we speak. We are not to say these words casually, but with heartfelt conviction. To confess Jesus as Lord is to believe that He is God the Son. It is to state our intention to follow Him as our Lord (Master). If you spoke those words sincerely when you first came to Christ, do you still voice them today? If Jesus is Lord, He is Lord every day of our lives and forever.

Then Paul adds that we are to believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus was the final proof that He is the Son of God, Savior, and Lord. I was taught in theological seminary that no intelligent person believes Jesus literally rose from the dead. I was told the resurrection was a myth invented by the early Christians to give more status to Jesus. I assumed my professors knew what they were talking about, and so for several years, I rejected the resurrection of Jesus. I did not understand that failure to believe that Jesus rose from the dead is a fatal error.

Paul tells us that the words we speak and what we believe in our hearts must be in agreement. The good news is this. If you do confess (with understanding) that Jesus is Lord, and you do believe in your heart (with sincerity) He rose from the dead, you will most certainly be saved.  That is God’s promise to us, and God never lies.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You have stated repeatedly the way of salvation. I do confess to You and to the world that Jesus is my Lord. I do believe with all my heart that He triumphed over the grave. Thank You for the assurance I have that salvation is Your precious gift to me. In Jesus’ name, I give You thanks, Amen.


Welcome to August! First, two prayer updates. 

Jan Geromini has tested positive for covid. Rick is still in the hospital. Prayers needed.

I just spoke with Mark Cramer. He is recovering well from a stroke. Quick action on the part of Wanda really saved his life. He is walking and talking fine now. 

Remember those on our prayer list. God answers the prayers of His people. 

This is another relatively quiet week at the church. No activities are scheduled through the week. 

Please note that our summer movie time has been changed to Wednesday, August 10th at 2 PM. We will view the film “War Room.” I have seen it twice and am looking forward to seeing it again. It is a very inspirational film. Snacks will be provided. 

This Sunday I will continue the series from the Book of Romans. In Romans 13:1-7 Paul speaks about the Christian’s relationship to the state. This series will conclude on August 14th. Tom will be preaching on 8/21. 

Trust Jesus and have a blessed week. 

Pastor Bowman

Marie’s daily verse: Set a guard over my mouth, Lord, 

keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3). 

DAILY DEVOTION, August 1, 2022

The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down (Psalm 145:14).

Life can be hard. Sometimes we are knocked down and wonder if we will ever be able to rise up. David reminds us that as we trust in God He will never fail us. He upholds ALL who fall down. When life is hard, we are tempted to abandon our faith. That is the very time when we need to turn to Him and trust Him. He promises to raise up all those who are bowed low. Sometimes we lose a loved one. Sometimes we struggle to make ends meet, especially now! Sometimes we face serious illness. Whatever drags us down we have a God who will raise us up. Nothing is too hard for Him.  

If you are going through a hard time, it is time to pray. Ask the Father who loves you to raise you up. As we draw near to Him in the name of Jesus, He will certainly hear us and act on our behalf. We may not always understand His response, but He will act. He doesn’t want His people to be defeated by life.

Father, sometimes the problems of life overwhelm us. May I never forget that You are an awesome God whose power and love know no limits. Help me to trust in you when I am feeling hopeless. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Marie’s daily verse: I am counting on the Lord;  yes, I am counting on him.    I have put my hope in his word

.(Psalm 130:5).

DAILY DEVOTION, July 31, 2022

Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 1:3).

Zechariah is speaking to Israel. The people of Israel enjoyed a relationship with God, but as often happened with Israel (and with us!), they had turned away from God. They often turned to foreign gods and idols, rejecting the commandments of God. God wants His people to see the error of their ways and get back on track. Still today, people who are Christians, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, wander down dark paths. Of course, it never works.  Walking away from God eventually leads to misery in this life. You simply cannot be a child of God and live a lifestyle that ignores His will. Those who try it will find no peace.

The good news in our verse is that when we decide to make a spiritual U-turn back toward the Father, He is there to welcome us.  Like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, when we repent and seek the face of God, He is there for us. Yes, God gives us the freedom to turn away from Him. He also gives us the freedom to return.  When we make that choice, God does not scold us for being so stupid. He returns to us. How is it with you? Is God waiting for you to take the first step? When we wander away from God, He waits with open arms to receive us.

Heavenly Father, I do not know how many times I have turned aside from Your will to follow my plans. Too many for sure. Forgive me for such folly. Help me to understand that Your way is always the best. Help me to return quickly to You when I have gone astray. Thank You for Your promise that when I do my part, You are always there to forgive and welcome. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.'”

 (LEVITICUS 19:18).

DAILY DEVOTION, July 30, 2022

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye”  (Psalm 32:8). 

God gives us a triple promise in this Psalm. He will instruct us, teach us,  and guide us. The three words are synonyms. They speak of God guiding us.  He is speaking here to Israel, His people under the Old Covenant. The words also apply to Christians under the New Covenant. God’s people today are those who trust in Jesus. We have the assurance of God’s direction in life.

But how do I know that God is guiding my life? I have read of people lost in the woods who find their way out by the use of a compass. Our compass, of course, is the Bible. As we live by the principles in God’s Word, we have His promise that He will guide us. We may not experience His guiding hand. We believe He guides us based on His promise, not on any “feeling” we may have. Twice in our text, God says, “I will.” When God says, “I will,” He will! Therefore, if I am trusting in Jesus, I have God’s promise that He will direct my path.

God’s direction is of two types. When we stray from His will, His direction takes the form of chastisement. When we are living in Harmony with His will, He directs us to paths of service in His kingdom. He showers us with abundant blessings. Obviously, the path of obedience is the better path. In any event, if you believe in Jesus, you have God’s promise that he will guide your path. So relax, God is in the driver’s seat.

Father in heaven, thank You so much for Your promise to guide my life. Sometimes I find myself in situations where I don’t know what to do. You always know what to do, and I believe Your promise to pilot the ship of my life. Help me to relax and trust in Your guidance.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DAILY DEVOTION, July 29, 2022

Marie’s daily verse: The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern (Proverbs 29:7)

But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as  first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

In this text, we observe the two causes that lead to our salvation. We must hear and believe the Gospel. We need to hear about Jesus. His life of miracles and godly teaching leads us to believe He is a man of God. His death on the cross leads us to believe Him to be the Son of God for no one else could atone for the sins of the world. His resurrection confirms to us that He is God in human flesh. We hear these things and conclude, “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, my Savior, and Lord.”

Once we believe the truth the Holy Spirit begins to work in our hearts. He leads us to faithful living (sanctification). True faith always brings the Holy Spirit. We are born again as the Spirit works within to change us. We understand in a new way that God loves us. Now we want to please Him. Show me a “Christian” who has no interest in pleasing God and I will show you a hypocrite! I hear some refer to themselves as “born again Christians.” The phrase is a redundancy. There is no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again. Faith in Jesus and the work of the Spirit are two sides of one coin. They cannot be separated.

Father in heaven, I am so grateful that I finally opened my heart to the truth of the Gospel. I am so thankful that the light was turned on and I placed my faith in Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit began to work in my heart and give me a love for You and for Your will. May Your name be hallowed forever, in Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires (2 Peter 1:3-4). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 26, 2022

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1).

John addresses those who believe in Jesus as “dear children.” That is a nice, warm way to be greeted! John wrote his letters to encourage Christians to avoid sin. The reason is simple. John knows that sin hurts our relationship with God. Sin causes us much spiritual pain. John wants us to avoid the negative consequences that sin always brings. When we take our sins lightly we are headed for trouble. For your sake, never ignore your sins.

Then John turns to a simple fact. Christians do sin. Sometimes we lie, deceive, gossip, say hurtful things, cheat, refuse to forgive – – – you get the idea. As we say, “Nobody’s perfect.” But be careful. Don’t use that phrase as an excuse. Despite our commitment to Jesus and the desire to live a sin-free life, Christians do sin. When that happens what is our response? “Oh well, nobody’s perfect,” or” that was just a little sin. It does not matter.” Since sin always interferes with our relationship with God we must deal with it appropriately.  We confess our sins to God and remember that we have an advocate (helper, defense lawyer) in Jesus Christ who has atoned for our sins. We reaffirm our faith in the shed blood of Jesus which grants us pardon.

Father, I do want to live a pure life. I want to be faithful to Jesus my Savior. When my old nature kicks in and I fall away from Your will, remind me to turn to Jesus in repentance, receiving His forgiveness. If I take my sinful acts for granted please slap me up the side of the head and lead me back to the cross. In Jesus’ name. I pray. Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Romans 12:16, NLT). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 25, 2022

For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority (Colossians 2:9-10).

Paul gives us a succinct definition of Jesus. Who is He? How does He differ from us? Paul says that in Christ God’s fullness abides in a human body. That can only mean that Jesus is God in the flesh. It is another way of saying, as Jesus did,  “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Such language could not be used of us! We also learn that Christ is in charge, head over all rulers and authorities. That’s another way of saying, as Jesus did: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Try saying that about yourself and you will end up in a mental health facility!

Paul also says something about us. We are complete in Christ because by faith we have been united with Him. The Expositors Bible Commentary amplifies what this means. “In union with Christ, our every spiritual need is fully met. Possessing him, we possess all. There was no need, therefore, for the Colossians to turn to the “philosophy” of the errorists, the ritual of the Mosaic law, or the spirit-beings worshiped by the pagan world. All they needed was in Jesus Christ.” If you are united with Christ by faith you have everything you need. You are ready to live a godly life and you are prepared for eternity.

Glorious Father, I want to reaffirm my faith in Jesus. I do believe He is the Messiah, the Son of God. Thank You that by faith I am united with Him and as a result, I am prepared for this life and for eternity. In His name, I pray, Amen. 


I love our little church. Thank you for putting up with a pastor who is getting a little wobbly in his step! 

Again, this is a quiet week at the church. Looking ahead we will have our final summer movie on August 17 at 2 PM. Snacks provided. I think we will view the film “War Room” unless I change my mind! Many have seen this film, including myself, but I am looking forward to seeing it again. A great film on prayer. 

The next fellowship dinner will be August 14th. Please bring a salad, vegetable ot desert to share.

Tom and I will be singing with the Cole Camp German choir this Saturday. Here is the information for those who want to enjoy some great German music. 

The 29th annual German Singing Festival (Sängerfest) Sat. July 30th 2 pm  – American Legion building – Cole Camp, MO.  Join us!
St. Louis Liederkranz, Kansas City Liederkranz, Cole Camp German Singers and the Ukrainian youth choir from Sedalia will all be singing!!
This will serve as a fundraiser in support of Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Germany and a hospital in Ukraine.  Sandwiches and desserts will be served. Join us by donating if you are unable to attend!

I am going to deviate from my series on Romans this Sunday. I will be preaching on the subject, “Grace Robbers.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The importance of grace in our relationship with God cannot be overestimated. I will return to Romans the following Sunday where the emphasis will be on “Church and State” (Romans 13:1-7).

We are still collecting fresh fruits and vegetables for the Merrills. 

Warm House is in need of canned icing, dried spaghetti and Spaghetti O’s. 

Walk with Jesus this week and your week will be much better!

Pastor Bowman

So sorry there is a gap my computer was having problems.

Marie’s daily verse:  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-11).

DAILY DEVOTION, July 23, 2022

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me (Proverbs 8:17).

The New Testament tells us that we love Him because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:19). Jesus is the perfect manifestation of God’s redeeming love. He bore our sins in His body on the cross. Love doesn’t get any better than that! Now it is up to us to respond to the love of God. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we have said “yes” to the love of God. We seek God and we find God when we trust in Jesus. Solomon says God loves those who love Him. Since we now do love God we have the assurance that God also loves us.

It is so important to realize that we are loved by God. It is difficult if not impossible to draw near to a God we fear. Once we know we are loved, peace floods our souls. There are two important truths in the above text. Believe that you are loved by God, and love Him in return. How do we demonstrate our love for God? By obedience to Him. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” (See  John 14:21). That is very straightforward. God loves us. We love God. We obey God.

Father, how grateful I am that You revealed Your love to me so wonderfully in the person of Jesus, Your Son. Help me to respond faithfully to Your love. In Jesus’ blessed name, I pray. Amen. 

Marie’s Daily verse: Psalms 33:1-2 1 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.

Daily Devotion, July 15, 2022

But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7).

Don’t get me wrong. I believe we should be careful not to pollute our world. Please don’t throw trash onto the highway or garbage into our streams and lakes! However, the idea that man-made climate change might destroy the world I cannot accept. God is preserving (Greek, guarding, keeping) the world until the day of judgment. We puny humans can pollute the world but we cannot destroy it. That is God’s prerogative. CO2 emissions are not going to destroy the world despite what some politicians say.

This world is now being preserved by God until the day of judgment. He will purify this old world by fire and a new heaven and earth will emerge (see 2 Peter 3:13). This world is God’s creation and He will preserve it until the day of judgment. Just be sure you haven’t polluted your mind with unbelief and disobedience to our Creator. Judgment day is coming.

Father, I thank You for the beautiful world You have created. I want to treat Your creation with respect. Help me to be prepared for the coming judgment when You will re-create this world by fire, In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Plans go wrong for lack of advice;  many advisers bring success. Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time! (Proverbs 15:22-23).

DAILY DEVOTION, July 12, 2022

Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life (John 6:47).

Jesus speaks to us directly. He assures us of one thing. Those who believe in Him have everlasting life. Surely more is required of us than faith in Jesus! In this verse and many others, the one thing required of us to possess everlasting life is faith in Jesus. Yes, many things flow from faith but they add nothing to our salvation. They are our responses to the wonderful gift we have received by faith alone, everlasting life.

Jesus came into the world to achieve one basic purpose, to save us. If you know you need to be saved spiritually, the one thing you must do is believe in Him.  If you are in a burning building and a firefighter comes in to save you, you must trust in him. You don’t need to earn his favor. You don’t need to be his friend. You just need to trust him to lead you to safety. It is that way with Jesus. Paul said that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He will save you if you trust Him.

Father, I am grateful that the basic Gospel message is clear and simple. Jesus is the Savior. I need to believe that and trust in Him. Thank You for the promise that if I will believe in Him I will one day receive everlasting life. Thank You, Jesus, for being my Savior, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world (James 4:8). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 11, 2022
Like a bird that wanders from its nest Is a man who wanders from his place (Proverbs 27:8).

There is a spiritual application to this verse. The idea is that a bird may wander from its nest and become lost. It is that way with us. What is our spiritual home? Jesus Christ is our home and its earthly manifestation is His church. When we wander away from Jesus we become spiritually lost. Many factors may contribute to our wandering. It may be too strong a love for the things of this world: money, prestige, power, entertainment, etc. None of these things are inherently wrong unless they draw us away from our home, Jesus. As we remain connected to Jesus by faith we are at home. We are safe from all the evils that are present in the world. Birds can become lost by flying too far from home. So can we. Jesus once called upon us to abide in Him. To abide is to remain. There is much in this fallen world that attracts us. Be careful that You do not fly far from home and lose your way.

Father, keep me safely in Your arms as I abide in You. Keep me close to Jesus lest I lose my way. In His name, I pray, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: 

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 9, 2022

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:15). When we place our trust in Jesus and confess and affirm that He is the Son of God, what happens? God abides or lives in us, and we in God. It’s like the old commercial about mailing packages using the post offices’ boxes. “If it fits, it ships,” followed by “that’s not complicated.” It is not difficult or complicated to find a place in your heart for God. When you confess your faith in Jesus, God comes marching in. It is popular to tell people they need to invite Jesus into their hearts. The Bible does not teach that. Nowhere is anyone told to invite Jesus into their heart. What we need is faith, and when we have true faith in Jesus, He comes parading into our hearts. No invitation has been given. He comes to live in every heart possessing true faith. Do you believe in Jesus? If you do, He is living in your heart. You can’t keep Him out!

Father, how grateful I am to know that You dwell in my heart. I do believe in Jesus and I receive Your promise that faith in Him brings Your abiding presence. May His name be honored forever, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; 

make known among the nations what he has done (1 Chronicles 16:8). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 8, 2022

 And by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character (2 Peter 1:4, TLB).

Faith in Jesus brings to us many rich, wonderful blessings.  These blessings are enumerated throughout the New Testament. Peter mentions two blessings. First, we escape all the corruption that surrounds us. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the fact that we live in a world marred by sin. Disobedience to God is rampant. Sometimes we wonder if things can get worse, and they will. As we live by faith we are able to escape all the rottenness around us. The grace of God allows us to distance ourselves from the evil surrounding us.

Second, this happens because God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we exercise our faith we receive more and more of God’s character. We become more and more like Jesus. These two promises are realized only as we walk by faith. Faith activates the Holy Spirit. Doubt and unbelief grieve the Holy Spirit. When we allow our faith to weaken, guess what? We gradually slip back into the ways of the world. Don’t let it happen to you!

Father, I pray for Your strength that keeps me from slipping back into the world. I want to live by faith, growing more and more into the character of Jesus. In His name, I pray, Amen. 

Marie’s daily verse: 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 7, 2022

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

This verse used to bother me. How can anyone pray without ceasing? We have to do so many other things like eat, work, visit with others, etc. How can we pray non-stop? I don’t think Paul meant to get up in the morning and then pray without ceasing until you go to bed at night. Okay, so what did he mean?

I think he meant that prayer should be a regular, ongoing activity. We should never face a new day and go through that day without prayer. God is our heavenly Father and He wants to communicate with us regularly. The more we pray the more we experience God’s love and grace. We are to pray about everything – – – big matters and small matters. Buying a house or car is a big matter. We should certainly seek God’s guidance. Misplacing your phone or wallet is a small matter but God wants us to pray about small matters too. The verse cautions us not to become accustomed to living our lives without prayer. Every day can be a day when we carry on a running conversation with God.

Father, how grateful I am to know that I can draw near to You daily through Jesus Christ, my Savior. Help me never forget the importance of prayer. May my life abound with prayers of intercession and gratitude. Amen.

July 4,2922

Marie’s daily verse: 

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 4th, 2022

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).

On this Independence Day, we celebrate the political freedom we have enjoyed since our founders signed the Declaration of Independence. Political freedom is a wonderful blessing and we pray that we will never lose it.

An even greater freedom is the freedom from sin we receive when we trust in Jesus. Just as we must be ever watchful lest we lose our political freedom, we must also be ever vigilant to retain the spiritual freedom we have through Jesus. Before faith was born in us we were entangled in bondage to sin. Paul urges us not to return to that state. Obviously, Paul believes we can dive again into the darkness of sin else he would not have spoken this warning. He urges us to stand fast. Never let your faith slip away. Christ has set us free! Let us remain in that freedom.

Father, I thank you for the freedom I enjoy in the USA. Even if that freedom is one day lost I cling to the spiritual freedom I have in Christ. Thank You, Lord, for freeing me from the bondage of sin. What a load it is off my soul to know that I am loved, forgiven and free! Thank You, In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 3, 2022

Marie’s daily verse: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11-12). 

DAILY DEVOTION, July 3, 2022

Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:3).

We recognize this verse as one of Jesus’ beatitudes. It is the first beatitude. To be poor in spirit is to be humble. It is to recognize that we need help to enter the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is out of our reach because we have violated God’s will more times than we can remember. The arrogant may think, “I have done enough to deserve God’s favor. I don’t need any help.” I recall talking with a person years ago who declared, “I don’t need a Savior.” The poor in spirit cry out to God, “Be merciful to me, a sinner.”

Faith can be born and grow in the soil of humility. We realize we need help and then we discover the good news about Jesus. We humbly and gratefully receive His sacrifice as sufficient payment for our sins.  We are not ashamed to admit we need a Savior. By faith in the Son of God, we enter the kingdom of heaven. If you want to be blessed (or happy) come to God humbly and receive His mercy and forgiveness by trusting in His Son.

Father, I confess that sometimes arrogance floods my soul. Deliver me! May I learn to approach you humbly, trusting in Your Son as my Savior. In His name I pray, Amen.

Marie’s daily verse: 

Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love (2 John 1:3).

DAILY DEVOTION, July 2, 2022

You are the light of the world…. let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

What a compliment Jesus pays to His disciples! He had declared that He is the light of the world. Now He declares that we too are the light of the world. He also explains what that means. We are to occupy ourselves with good deeds. Our quality of life is to be so transparent that when others see us they wonder how it is that we live such radiant lives. Our good deeds are so obvious that they shine forth as light. Others are drawn to the Savior as they observe our character.

A Chinese doctor built a hospital during the communist revolution. The communist destroyed his hospital. Nevertheless, he continued to care for wounded communist soldiers. General Chaing Kai-shek saw this and asked how the doctor could do this after those soldiers destroyed his hospital. His wife, a Christian, explained that the doctor was a Christian. The general was so impressed that he decided to become a Christian too. The light of Jesus shone brightly in the good deeds of the doctor into the heart of General Chaing Kai-shek.

Father, I must confess that my light isn’t shining very brightly. I pray that I may take Jesus’ words to heart and strive to be a better Christian so that my life and character will shine more brightly drawing others to the Savior. In His name, I pray, Armen.